9 Free Backlink Checker Tools To Check Competitors Backlinks

The mantra for a successful endeavor (May it be a business, a college competition, a project at job or blogging) is, we always go forward keeping an eye on our competitors.

More is at stake when we are a blogger or an online enterprise. It becomes essential to outdo your competitor in order to obtain the ranking that the former does.

For this, we spy on our competitor’s traffic sources, the keywords he ranks for and the backlinks that point to the competitor’s domain.

This is a complete tutorial on how to check your competitor’s backlinks. Spying on your competitors’ backlinks can give you an idea on what domains are linking to their posts and thus you can target those sources too.


Why Do A Backlink Analysis?

  • To know which sites are linking to your site or your competitor site.
  • In order to capture the friend domains of your competitor into your friend zone.
  • To compare your backlink profile with a strong competitor so that you can go stronger than them (this is helpful to tell Google that you are a competitor of an already established site).
  • To check your friends by seeing who is linking to you so that you can return them the favor.

List of Free Backlink Checker Tools

SEMRush is one of the most popular SEO tools out there and now it has added backlink analysis feature to its arsenal.

Previously it was very good for analyzing keywords both organic and ad keywords. The data can be got in a graphical format.

Now that it has added a backlink checker feature all you have to do is:

  • Go to the SEMRush homepage.
  • Type the domain name (in my case I typed quicksprout.com), you want to analyze and hit enter.
  • If you want to compare the domain names, there is a tab for that on the left corner and you can get a detailed list of referring domains, referring IPs, links from .gov and .edu sites as well as other TLDs.
  • You can export it as PDF by clicking on the PDF button on the right top side.
Semrush backlink check

In my opinion, the free version works pretty well unless you are one of those SEO analyst trying to lock horns with your competitor.

In case, you are one there is a paid version for $69.95/mo which will give more in-depth analysis.

Read my SEMrush review where I have provided special promo code to get SEMrush PRO account free for 30 days. Or to grab that offer, you can simply click this link.

Ahrefs is the best tool in getting a backlink analysis of a competitor site or any site. It has been the winner of the test conducted by Matthew on one million domains for backlinks.

Aherf is recognized by its up to satisfaction consumer support and detailed analysis. Its free version works for only three analysis while a fees of $79/month is charged to use the backlink checker tool in its full glory.

For a free analysis just go to the home page and type the URL of the website whose total backlink analysis you wish to do. Other prices and packages are as shown here.

Then you get the complete analysis of the backlink profile of the site tested as shown in the image below. They provide a full analysis on number of dofollow backlinks, nofollow backlinks, links as text and image backlinks apart from the basic .edu and TLD based searches.

ahrefs link checker

It gives a clear diagrammatical representation of the number of social shares the domain has got and includes Google +1, tweets and Facebook likes and shares.

The free account shows you the top ten results based on each search while the paid version has unlimited results.

You can export the searched result of backlinks thus generated into a .csv file in the paid version.

To export the report on the free version, follow this path.

Backlinks → external → backlinks → new/lost → export.

As the name suggests it is majestic and one of the most used SEO tools by professionals. It is the strongest competitor of ahref and is good at some places.

They have their own curated list of majestic million where they rank sites on top million based on their rankings on links and other criteria. 

They have the largest database of links and also evaluate types based on quality of links coming from various sources.

The basic advantage of MajesticSEO is that you are free to download the link profile of your competitor and can twist them as you go so that you can have the clear view of the strategies of how the website has gained their backlinks.

They have various plans like the free plan. Their Silver plan, Gold plan and platinum plan are priced at £29.99, £ 99/mo, £250/mo respectively. For a basic search the free version is good to go with but it is advisable to better check the pricing page so that you get a better idea of which plan works well with your business.

On the summary tab, you get a full list of links referring to a domain or URL and it also gives us a detail about how many backlinks were indexed from how many domains and also gives you the latest crawl timing.

majesticseo link checker

In the backlink tab, you get a complete list of backlinks that is available to a site. Here is a list of all filters I use in order to get a noiseless URL report.

  1. Filter out reports from more than five links from a single domain.
  2. I also filter the report to hide results from sites like .nz, .cnetc. that usually tend to be spam.
  3. Filter out link errors like 404 errors, 300 errors and duplicates in URL.
  4. Lastly, I filter the results from URLs having “replytocom” and “comments” as these are nofollow links from WordPress comment sections that are useless in meaningful analysis.

Open Site Explorer is a great tool from moz.com and when a product is from Moz it has to be good. They help you to see who is linking to your competitor site filtering the report through domain authority, and anchor text used.

open site explorer link checker

Comparing amongst a bunch of other sites is also possible and this helps in understanding the key strategies of your competitor to build high-quality backlinks.

Read: How To Build High-Quality Backlinks For Your Blog?

Open site explorer is still not very capable of filtering results from spammy links (there may be many some with high page authority too) and thus you have to very vigilant in rejecting a backlink from the OSE result that can lead to harm your own SEO.

I recommend this article from the Moz blog by Tom Anthony. It shows you a Google spreadsheet that grabs the top SERP results automatically, in addition to the metrics given by you. Read the tutorial to learn how to configure it.

SEO spyglass is a new tool that is completely evaluating itself in order to provide great results. In a recent update it has increased its database of indexed links to 15,000,000,000,000. This is pretty more than ahrefs and majestic SEO.

On the contrary, it is not a web-based client but is desktop software that runs from your PC and checks for all the live links at that point of time.

You get the fresh links and no error of dead links or links not updated (as in case of ahrefs and MajesticSEO).

The number of backlinks for a single URL is 1100 but can’t export it whereas the paid version (a onetime fee) gives you the right to use any number of backlink analysis as well as exporting facility.

Backlink watch is the easiest tool out there to analyze the backlink portfolio of any website including yours. The good news is that it uses ahrefs’ API so you get pretty trustable results.

backlink watch tool

There is no option to export your results but there is a workaround to harness this free tool. Just copy all the reports from the site → open spreadsheet → right click → paste special → text → done (ok). Amazing, huh?

Google alerts is the first thing that comes to mind when we think about monitoring a mention online. This easy to use tool can be used to get free alerts when your selected word/words are mentioned on the web. It can be your brand name, a product or your competitors’ name.

google alerts

You can use it to monitor when your competitor is mentioned as a link on the web. The benefit is that the delivery is real time and thus could be helpful.

Though it is useful for getting basic information on a linking activity, the main drawbacks are that you do not get any notifications of the links that are already used (before you set your alert). It tells nothing about the quality of the linking site too.

Link diagnosis is a great tool that not only helps you get a wide variety of results like link type (nofollow, dofollow, missing, good etc.), page internal + external links and also a brief about page rank distribution (now obsolete as Google officially announced its death).

link diagnosis backlink checker

Open link Profiler has been a favorite SEO tool for many. Open link profiler has the large database of freshest backlinks to a site which counts to the magical number of 2,00,000 backlinks to a domain.

open link profiler tool

They display links that are active in the last 90 days only so that you don’t have to deal with outdated stuff.

Their free version helps you download up to 100 links in CSV format. This feature is not provided by any major SEO tools like majestic SEO, Ahrefs or open site explorer.

They have a link influence score for all sites so that you get an idea of the best based pages on the basis of backlinks to it.

Working the backlinks inside out

  • Now that you have got the backlinks using any of the given tools out there, just copy the backlinks to a notepad and save it as a text file (remember we are not using MS word because it adds unnecessary coding to the text in it). Now save it.
  • Use a duplicate remover tool like duperemovetool to filter out further duplicate URLs that might be of no work.
  • For analyzing the backlinks, I said to check if a backlink is live or not. Use this tutorial. It also checks if a link is penalized.
  • Use your experience and guts to cut out links that appear spammy even if any tool doesn’t consider a spam.
  • To use excel as a free alternative to analyze links you can use SEO tools for spreadsheets.
  • Now that you have got your best list of backlinks, save them to use for your SEO purposes.


Analysis paralysis is a term coined to refer to the process of wasting too much time in analyzing that hardly any time is left for doing the backlink building. It means you waste so much time and resources in finding the backlink profile of your competitor that at the end you find out you have no time to build any meaningful backlinks and your competitors have moved pretty ahead. Beware of it.

Over to you

Being an SEO makes you different from a guy doing the same stuff. There are millions of ways optimizing your site for search engines and each SEO analyst has his own set of methods.

I would also suggest you to test SEMrush PRO account totally free by clicking this special promo link. Along with backlinks analysis, you can do a complete competition analysis including backlinks, keywords, keywords position, site audit etc.

What are your backlink analysis strategies? Our readers would love to learn from your work styles, please do comment them in the comment section below.

Categories SEO

25 thoughts on “9 Free Backlink Checker Tools To Check Competitors Backlinks

  1. Hi Ankit
    I always notice that your blog posts are so unique and well explained with deep information.

    Backlink checkers are the most important tools to analyze the backlinks of your competitors blog. But according to my experience, there are slight tools which I like most and love to use on the daily basis.

    As we know Afrefs is the best backlinks checker tool, they are always updated with the freshest backlinks but one thing about them which I don’t like is that they only allows 1 trial without registering the account and after register, you will only get one trial. That’s not good. It should be free of cost.

    But If you need to check complete backlinks of any website then you need to take premium subscription which every blogger can’t afford.

    But on the other side, there is a tool, sorry free tool which is much better for free use. I am talking about OPENLINKPROFILER, 🙂 I personally used it and it’s totally free of use. NO registration , No premium susbcription and full access to the competitors backlinks and they are also updated. You will get all the updated backlinks like Ahrefs by using OPENLINKPROFILER. It’s my personal experience with it and I also recommend it to you. Happy Blogging 😉

  2. Hi Ankit bro, this was more than a awesome post. I really liked the list of tools. I am not a SEO type guy but these tools are really handy and would help me in the near future. Analysis paralysis is a funny and scary thing at the same time. I never knew about it but would be careful too.

  3. Hi Ankit,

    Nice list of backlinks checker, but out of these Ahrefs is best, but sad thing is that, it is premium tool. Although I have heard about many of them but was unaware of google alerts that we can use it to check links too.

    Thanks again for the post.

  4. Some of the tools mentioned here only provides limited number of links i.e below 10. However I have been using majestic SEO for more then six months and I found it a great free tool to check the backlinks of a single website.

  5. Hi Ankit bro,
    This is really amazing post for everyone who wants to check backlinks for free. Till now i have already know only about 5 backlink checker tool. I don’t know about other 4 backlink checker tool which you mentioned here. But Now i’m going to try other 4 backlink checker tools too…Overall this post will be very helpful for newbies and even it would be helpful for experts too..Good work Ankit bro..Keep doing..

  6. Very nice article dear.
    I am new to your blog. I am not so much good in link building so this post is five star post for me.


  7. Hi Ankit,

    wow! very nice post…..nice list of backlinks checker……

    This post has very deep knowledge about check backlinks for free…..

    So this post is very important for me…..

    Very very thanks for sharing this………

    Thanks again!

    Amul Sharma

  8. I love it but I think you missed some good other backlinks checker tools available online which are really effective in finding competitors backlinks with anchor texts. One of them is BuzzSumo.

    Kindly update your post and help others to learn more about them. In addition, I have some doubts regarding backlinks stealing from authority blogs and sites. Kindly, pay attention to my question if possible.

    Waiting for your kindest reply.


  9. Hi Ankit Bro,
    Recently I started blogging, I am very confused about back links, how to check the back links. This post is helping me. In those 9 checking tools, SEMRUSH and Ahref tools are showing very good results.

    Thanks for giving clear information.

  10. Very nice article admin. I’ve started using openlinkprofiler from now onwards. thanks for the article

  11. Hi Ankit,

    Wow! Thats great post like always. I know about 4-5 Tools and I’ll try your collection…
    Thanks for sharing the list.

    Thanks &
    ~Ajit Ray~

  12. i think this is the really great list..
    most commonly i use the MOz bar as it comes with browser extension and easy to use also..
    i want to about any on page plugin (browser extension) that points to on page score of the page…

  13. Thank you very much ankit bro for sharing others tools. From today i will try majestic free backlink checker tool. Thanks again.

  14. Awesome post. I personally use SEMRush for monitoring the backlinks of my site as well to keep an eye on the competitors site. Great to know that there are so many other options. Thanks for such a good list.

  15. Thank to introducing these great tools. I like most open link profiler. This is an awesome tools. But after complete your review I would like to use others 😛

  16. Thanks for the review. In my opinion, SEMRush and Ahrefs are the best tools to check for backlinks. However, they both are too expensive (60$/month) 🙁

  17. Ha… Awesome list! I especially like how u listed them in order of awesomeness… Thanks a lot Ankit.

    PS- Spyglass is actually not a new tool. Been around a while.

  18. Hi Ankit,

    Your article’s really useful. I’ve already used 5 tools of your list but I like Openlinkprofiler. It’s so great and also for newbie with many backlinks you can check for free version.

    Thanks so much and hope next your article!


  19. Every tool shows different data and they are all just crap with little and old data.

    The best tool for SEO is your own mind, we should use it to explore more tactics for our projects.

    Thanks for the list.

  20. Thank you for this list. Personally, I use backlink checker by SE Ranking. It’s easy to use and pretty cheap. Based on the data you can get from the software, you can learn your competitors’ strategy and create your own.

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